Holiday Shopping Made Easy So You'll Have More Time for Wine - What's on Tap: November 2014

The Berrrrs are Back...

Last year the Berrrr's and I brought you a butt load of gift ideas to help with your holiday shopping and we're back again this year to do the same. Below you'll find gift ideas of all prices and with more than enough time to make or order, ship and wrap your gift you can avoid the holiday stress that comes with parking at the mall, waiting on long lines, and shopping with human Grinches.
I warn you... This is BIG(so big I had to post it in two sections)! Links, ideas, pictures, promo codes the whoooole hook up. The gift guide is organized into categories with a present suggestion for everyone in the fam and I've starred* the items that are my absolute faves. So grab a glass bottle of wine, and relax (since you no longer have to stress about what to buy), get your credit card ready, and browse through these fabulous gifts ideas. 

In this installment you'll find: 
Tech gifts for all ages
Gifts for the shoe afficianado
Foodie gifts that will have your cup running-eth over

But Why? Why Asking Ourselves Questions is Important.

"Have we established that questions are marvelous, momentous things?... That asking ourselves the right ones can have life-altering effects?"

It had been 9 months since we had broken up; a break up that took a long time to move forward from. And then he was back. He missed me. He wanted to try again. I wanted to try again. So we were going to try again but it didn't take long to figure out that he wanted to try again in the way that suited him best. He wasn't doing it to be a jerk, he really wasn't', he just has his own life to think about. He was busy taking over his father's business and we were still young, in our mid-twenties. He wanted something more relaxed and I wanted something else. I asked myself, Am I settling for something less, just to stay with him again? I knew the answer.

I broke it off a few weeks later.

Years later, when Husband (then Boyfriend) and I had been together for 4 years and had just finished answering many questions that were floating heavily around our relationship, another question arose to trump all of the other questions: If we were, indeed, having a baby, would we still move abroad? We weren't sure of the answer but sometimes all you need to start the conversation is the question.

Notes from a Local Scene: At the MercaSantoDomingo

As a mother I'm all about routine but as an individual, I'll be the first to admit that after a while, the same thing gets tired and boring. If you ate peanut butter and jelly every day, you'd get tired of it, right? If you drank wine every day - whoops - no, not that one - that one doesn't work there. Change is the seasoning of life; it shakes up the norm and stirs the pot and - even in the smallest ways - is a big part of the adventure and wonder of it all.

Olympics of Gobble Proportions: Fiesta Forever

(As published on Women Who Live on Rocks.) 

As do other rock expat dwellers we have to pick and choose the holidays we go home for; we can't have 'em all. Christmas is mine. I won't miss being home for it; maybe someday when we live further away I might have to but not while we're on a rock where a 4-hour flight is the only thing standing between me and my chilly home for the holidays. Unfortunately, this means that many other holidays are off the proverbial table, like Thanksgiving for example. 

We knew our first year, Thanksgiving away from home would be hard. We had just had our first baby and up until that year we had never missed a Thanksgiving with my family or Husband's family. I vividly remembering stifling a cry in the bathroom when I got off the phone with my mom that morning. "We all miss you here," she said, "This is the first Thanksgiving in 30 years I'll spend without you." Knife. Turn. Ouch. I knew she didn't mean it to upset me; my mom would never try to deliberately make me feel bad but she was missing me and I was certainly missing her. And in the core of it, I knew that this was part of our life abroad equation that I wasn't sure I could handle yet.
In reality (knife in heart excluded), it wasn't too hard in the end to enjoy Thanksgiving abroad, thanks to some strategic planning.
See, most of our island friends also choose to stay on the rock for Turkey Day; so we throw a big family dinner together. We make Turkey. Everyone brings a side dish or dessert. We feast. Our kids play together. We've organized flag football games and volleyball games. We drink wine.
Oh, and did I mention we all take our long weekend break at this place: 

A Cautionary Tale about Duct Tape Bras

We've all had moments in our life where we have to make a choice, a fork in the road. Do I choose to stay or do I choose to go? Do I say yes or do I say no? This is one of those moments...though to be fair, my fork in the road decision was not life or death (or any serious consequence for that matter) but rather about a DIY bra, so there's that. 

A night of dancing was proving fatal for a pasty-type bra that I bought so the way I saw it, I had two options: ONE - go home and be a quitter or TWO - make a bra entirely out of duct tape and keep dancing. 

Let's just say I wouldn't be writing this story if I was a quitter.

This is the true story of a duct tape bra.